Thursday, October 6, 2011

Whittle a little

So, I guess I’m officially editing my story now.  I try to think of it as a sculpture.  I can clearly see the shape it is destined to take and whittle away at the block of marble, koa wood, or soap (you pick one) little by little, smoothing away the unwanted with progressively finer tools.  I’ve heard, if one wants to carve a horse, for example, one needs to to chip away everything that doesn’t look like a horse.  In the case of my writing, I’m deleting everything that doesn’t look like the plot and, unlike carving, I can add back in pieces that seem to fit.  While my story is far from perfect, I can see it progressing.

Due to a recent, particularly brutal bout of revisions, I came away battered and bruised by the effort.  It was then that I realized editing is less like carving and more akin to stuffing my less than perfect self into a pair of Spanx.  It is a painful and tedious process but the end result is a smooth silhouette with no visible lumps or bulges and zero VPL (which, for those of you who don’t know, that stands for “visible panty line."  I did not know this but was recently enlightened.  Who knew?)
I guess what I am saying is that I know the end result will be worth all the effort.  I must keep on mashing and manipulating, tweaking and twisting, smashing and squashing until the story flows smoothly with no wrinkles or hitches and zero VPL (Visible Plot Lines).   
Or maybe, writing is even more like giving birth…the end result of all that agony is something beautiful created wholly by me.  Something I can be proud of.  Something I’d like to do again.  But not until I recover a bit…    

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